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By Sally Anderson, Special to the Times

Check out these fitness tools

You can turn your living room into a workout room with these neat fitness tools. Many of them can even be tucked out of sight when you aren't using them.

You'll find them online or at a sporting goods store. All items are less than $100.

Workout log book: To help motivation, begin with a physical fitness exercise diary, where you keep a record of all your exercise routines and any personal comments.

Stability balls: A very versatile fitness tool; instability of ball challenges several muscles. Just sitting on ball is good for your posture. Be sure to purchase a burst resistant ball and check if hand pump for ball is included. If not you will want to buy one.

Medicine ball: Adds variety to strength workouts. Begin with 4-pound ball (or lighter), then progress as you wish.

Resistance bands and tubing: Resistance tubings are long tubelike cords with handles, varying in intensity from light to ultra heavy, while resistance bands are flat pieces of elastic about 2 inches wide.

Hex dumbbells: A good choice to buy as they have been on the market for years and are less expensive than other weights; made of solid cast iron.

Doorway pullup bar: Pullup exercises strengthen upper body and core; bar attaches to door frame, no drilling needed.

Cardio Trainer: A free fitness app on the iPhone that tracks indoor and outdoor activities, keeping you informed of how many calories you are burning.

Exercise cards by Workout Labs: Plastic cards with illustrations and instructions, showing correct form and targeted muscles.

The step: Often used use as a weight bench (number of risers used will dictate desired height), or it can be used for a cardio step workout.

Stick massager: Loosens tight and sore muscles. The center rod, made of plastic, is covered with spindles that roll over the muscles.

Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Sally Anderson is happy to hear from readers but can't respond to individual inquiries. Contact her at [email protected]

MODEL ANNE BARRENS

. Marching on ball

A basic exercise developing balance and stability. Sitting on ball, back straight, place hands behind head; contracting abdominals will help with balance. Alternate lifting left and right foot off floor, as if marching. Begin slowly, progressing to lifting knees higher and a little faster. Continue "marching" for several minutes. If you need more support, place ball against a wall.

, Stepups

Targets calves, glutes, hips, thighs. Place three risers under step. Holding medicine ball in front of chest, stand sideways on step. Contracting abdominals, step down with one foot as you lower into a squat. Return to standing, tapping foot on side of step. Repeat two sets of 8-12 repetitions each side; movement slow and controlled.

. The stick massager

Most often used to massage tight leg muscles. Holding stick, press firmly into the tissue and roll back and forth over the muscles, never rolling over bony areas.

By Sally Anderson, Special to the Times

Check out these fitness tools 08/25/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 4:00pm]
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